Arthur Scott

Arthur Scott

Monday, 30 September 2013 16:07

Governors mansion 1936

This photo of the old Governor's Mansion was taken by a tourist traveling from New York to California in May of 1936. Photo was taken looking west across Don Gaspar street just south of the river. The Mansion was razed in 1952 in order to allow expansion of the Capitol.

Thursday, 26 September 2013 15:19

Doris Lillian Gardiner Seligman

Read the story of my maternal side. My mother immigrated from Wales and lived in Santa Fe from 1921 until her death in 1990. Click on the green link below to open or download the article.

Sunday, 22 September 2013 17:15

Scandal in Santa Fe--The Facts


True Scandal in Santa Fe


Arthur Scott 


 This is the factual account of my father’s life. It is at tale of wasted wealth and opportunity. That I was a son of an ex-con was a deep, dark, family secret that I had to live with, hide, and never mention. A few times it was used as a weapon in childhood fights which sent me into a crying rage.  I only had bits and pieces of stories by my mother from my childhood. All of my older relatives are now dead so it took a great deal of archival research to determine and document the facts of a dark story.

   The true facts are somewhat in opposition to the stories of my father recalled by interviewees discussing “Scandals” in Pen LaFarge’s book about Santa Fe, “Turn Left at The Sleeping Dog. A friend told me:


En todos los árboles de la familia, hay filiales torcidos”.


To view click on green link below



Friday, 20 September 2013 20:20

Pete 1947


Pete in 1947

By Arthur Scott


   This silhouette cut out of me was done in 1947 at the National Stock Show in Denver, Colorado by one of the vendors under the arena grandstand during the rodeo. I was fascinated watching the guy doing cut outs and cried and whined enough to get this done. I was about nine years old.

   My sister was then married to Rusty Largent a cowboy from Texas. They owned the Dead Horse Ranch between Santa Fe and Las Vegas past Rowe.  They raised Herford cattle to show. I don’t remember too much about the ranch except there was a rambling old adobe house that was always cold and that my brother-in-law liked to shoot doves from the roof of the stable. They were cleaned and cooked for dinner-no freezers in those days. The other vivid memory was the day I became very ill while he was feeding the stock one morning. I laid on a stack of hay bales until he finished and drove me home the 35 mils to Santa Fe( plus several miles from ranch house to the highway) It turned out to be mumps and to this day I don’t remember ever feeling that ill.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 19:08

New Mexico in My Rearview Mirror


Santa Fe and New Mexico in My Rear-view Mirror


Arthur Scott



   This poster is my reminder when I left Santa Fe, the city of my children’s birth as well as mine, my father’s and grandfather’s; permanently in 1976.  I always liked Georgia O’Keefe’s work.  I was told she would never allow the New Mexico art museum to exhibit her work. Years ago one of the Directors had refused to do so. In return she would not allow the exhibit of her work by the state.  When the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival was started in 1971, she did allow them to use one of her paintings as an annual poster and fund-raiser. My physician at the time, Dr. Bergere Kenny, was a significant supporter and every year he gave me a copy of the poster.

    Nineteen seventy six was a necessary time for me to leave New Mexico. I had spent several months working for US AID in Brazil, gone through a bad divorce ending a bad marriage, and was offered a good promotion to enter the fast life in Washington DC in the U. S. Geological Survey headquarters in Reston, VA. This was probably one of my better decisions. The two-year detail turned in to an eighteen-year stint in headquarters and extensive travel. My journey resulted in my working for generally short periods in every US state except Rhode Island and Wyoming, and all US territories except American Samoa.

   Along the way, my daughters graduated from high school in VA, I remarried (33 years now), learned to sail, charted sailboats in Greece, British Virgins, sailed from Key Largo to Key West and back, spent most of the summers on our boat on Chesapeake Bay, we sailed the Galapagos Islands on a crewed catamaran, and most of the Caribbean Islands on a Windjammer. We also managed to independently travel to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Kenya, Morocco, Great Britain, Spain, Southeast Asia, Canada, Mexico and Taiwan.

   As I look back over almost 76 years, it has been a good life and nothing I expected as a kid growing up in Santa Fe and whose longest trip had been by train to Cleveland, where we were to spend a few months.. A country kid that had to ride a streetcar to school and one who tearfully lamented a “dirty” city almost daily. I did find life after Sana Fe and as I look back; I would make few changes. But at times I still miss the mountains, the Santa Fe that was, but NOT the Santa Fe that is, and I am ever grateful for the memories of best of times-- being alone measuring the flow in some very isolated mountain stream for the USGS in north, south, east, or west New Mexico; from Antelope Wells to Shiprock and Carlsbad to Tucumcari.


Monday, 16 September 2013 19:17

New Mexico Gold, Las Ovejas (Sheep)


New Mexico Gold,  Las Ovejas (Sheep)


Arthur Scott




   I took this poor picture from the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad near Wolf Creek pass in 1969. Forgive the quality, but it is old like me. As I was going through these slides, I was reminded how important sheep and wool production was to New Mexico. Between 1850 and 1938,sheep were the “gold” of New Mexico.

    It seems somewhat ironic that the Conquistadors came seeking gold and wealth but yet brought the future wealth with them. When the Conquistador Onate arrived, in addition to 400 men, among the livestock he reportedly brought, were 2700 Spanish churro sheep. The industry has contributed to the wealth and political power of families like Governor Armijo the Chavez’s, Catrons, Maxwells, Lunas,  Governor Otero, Ilfelds (buying and shipping wool east), Burns’, and the MacGillvarys.  All were pioneers in the sheep industry in New Mexico. Historically, the majority of the sheep were located in three counties, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, and Union.

   The industry also encouraged the immigration of Basque shepherds and their dogs that became known as “New Mexican shepherds.” The dogs have since become the breed we now know as “Australian Shepherds.”

    Here are the numbers of sheep in New Mexico over the years. I can not vouch for accuracy as they were taken from several sources. The USDA numbers for 1938-2013 are probably most accurate. They do, however, illustrate the increase in wool required during both World War I and II( uniforms, blankets, cold-weather gear) and also the dramatic decrease in the wool industry with the development of synthetic fibers during the late 1940’s and the end of an era.


        Year         Sheep

      1600             2,700

1820              200,000

1850           Largest sheep producer in US.

1880            2,000,000

1900            5,000,000

1938            2,337,000

2007                 130,000

2013           100,000 (not even in the top ten states for sheep production)


Santa Fe Fiestas Pasotiempo-Hysterical Parade

By Arthur Scott


   In 1924 Hewett and the museum of New Mexico, under his directorship controlled the Santa Fe Fiestas. Admission was charged for most events including the De Vargas pageant and other military and social pageants which were held on Museum property. Most of the Fiestas celebration was somber.  

   The art colony of Santa Fe felt that they had moved to Santa Fe in part to be part of a community and that the cost of admission to fiesta events excluded many citizens. The gay poet, Witter Bynner and Dolly Sloan, wife of artist John Sloan, teamed up to start a free event called “Pasatiempo.”  According to Chris Wilson, The Myth of Santa Fe, 1997, Pasatiempo included “band concerts, community singing and street dancing, on the Plaza, a children's animal show, and the wildly popular Hysterical Pageant. People from all social strata pulled heirloom clothes from their trunks, made floats and costumes, and decorated theca cars, horses, and burros for this parade. Tongue-in-cheek parodies of historic figures, tourists, and tourist stereotypes porliferated. If the De Vargas pageants were historical murals solemnly brought to life,  then t ten-foot--tall shirts and pants of one year's Hysterical Pageant were attention-grabbing pop icons--everyday items cut loose from their cultural moorings and inflated to a bizarre size in the manner ot modern advertising and the French surrealists. In the spirit of carnival, for tt tat people began calling Pasatiempo, "the grand carnival," `artists Will Shuster and Gustave Baumann fabricated Zozobra in1926. This effigy of gloom,

There has been some discussion on Voces Facebook concerting the population of New Mexico cities in the early 1900's. I put together this table from US Census data to illustrate the decline in Santa Fe that occupied the city fathers of the time.

I recall meeting Bob some time around 1969. At the time I think he worked at the State Highway Dept. and taught art at St. Cathrine's Indian School. I bought this painting from him at his studio at the school for two reasons; 1. I really liked it and 2. It was a donation to the arts fund for the school. I knew he was from Cochiti and a Bataan death march survivor, but little else. As life moved on we lost contact.

I see now that he continued to paint at the school well into his eighties. He was a 1935 graduate of St Catherine's. He had a building named for him.  He spent four years as a POW in the Philippines and in Japan. He coached. And was designated a "living treasure" in 1987.

This painting is signed "Ow-u-Te-wa, 69." "Bob never understood why his grandmother, from Cochiti, gave him a Hopi name. He didn't know what it meant, till he met a Hopi in Sheridan, Wyoming who told him that Ow-u-Te-wa means Echo of Spring".

Saturday, 10 August 2013 19:53

Drawing by Arthur Seligman

Drawing by my grandfather 34 years before he was elected Governor. Colored pencil on paper. Dated 1897. Personal Collection.

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